Middle-Class Women and the Justification of Violence in 1970s Argentina

Kellogg Institute Graduate Research Grants
Grant Year

My research addresses the role of Argentine middle-class women in the acceptance of violence as a valid means of political, economic, and social change in the 1970s. Although historians have incorporated a gender approach to the study of this period, they have mostly focused on female victims of State repression and overlooked non-activist middle-class women. This project aims to explore how Argentine middle-class women enacted a particular type of violence through their discourse that goes beyond its physical dimension, and how it helped to underpin the political and cultural values crystallized in the military dictatorship (1976-1983). My preliminary hypothesis claims that this group of women exerted a "discursive violence" different from that of their male counterparts, characterized by female understandings of femininity, womanhood, and motherhood. From a cultural history perspective, through archival research and oral histories, I plan to test my initial hypothesis.